Menswear experts Craig Ryan of Craig Ryan Fine Menswear, The Clothes Post owner Jeff Pagel, Ella’s Men’s Stylist Salvador Cisneros, and Captain’s Quarters’ owner Maurie Allen say that choices for men are getting more colorful, with better fabrics and styling.
Here’s their take on what gentlemen should be wearing Up North this fall.
Pantone – the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems – reports that jewel-toned shades like Sangria, Radiant Orchid, Royal Blue, and Cognac Brown will be favorites in menswear.
Pagel, who has owned Petoskey’s The Clothes Post for more than 30 years, agrees.
“For the past few years, it’s all been black and gray, but now we’re finally starting to see more color,” he said, “especially the deep purples, ruby reds, and both bright and burnt orange.”
Ella’s Men’s Cisneros says earth tones will appear on the racks in Traverse City.
“Like greens, browns, and black,” he said. And Ryan, who now owns two eponymous stores in Harbor Springs and Petoskey, points out the growing popularity of pastels.
“A few years ago, men couldn’t have enough black and gray,” he said, “but they’ve now started to integrate light blues, yellows, and greens into their clothing mix.”
Textures and patterns are set to be big for fall, too, and are a subtle way to add some depth to any ensemble.
“Tightly woven woolen fabrics and knitted offerings in cashmere, merino wool, and Peruvian cottons will continue to be of vital importance,” said Allen, who opened Traverse City’s Captain’s Quarters in 1966.
Pagel said tattersall plaids and tartans in particular are coming back.
“And from the dressy point of view, it’s all about small patterns like checks and plaids,” he said.
Cisneros, a fan of small details and quality fabrics, called the mix of luxe fabrics, leathers, and traditional patterns “urban lumberjack meets biker businessman.”
“Tweed blazers, cashmere, and wools have all made the fall trends roster, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see fellas dressed to the nines in slim-fit, collared button-ups in clever prints,” he said.
This fall, slim is in. “The younger guys especially like the closer fits, more narrow jackets and skinny pants,” Pagel said. “A lot of the more youthful styles are going back to the ‘50s, like the days of old TV shows ‘Route 66’ and ‘I Spy.’” Allen said the fit should extend to shirts and even suits.
“I predict a continued trend toward narrower but not extremely fitted silhouettes both in dress and sport shirtings,” Allen said. “This trend will also be noticed in trouser fit, extending to sport shirts and suits.”
Fall denim features close cuts and narrow legs, a nod to ‘50s styling, but also inspired by runway and modern pop and rock performers.
While style takes center stage, rough Northern Michigan weather plays a close second in determining which lines to carry.
Pagel said for men to keep stylishly warm, the fleece line from Salt Lake City company Kuhl is a good start.
“These are selling like crazy, with their contrast stitching,” Pagel said. “Their clothes remind me of stuff I’ve seen out West at the ski resorts.”
Cisneros is excited about Ella’s first fall carrying the Ted Baker and Rogue Leather lines.
“Ted Baker’s fits, prints, and colors will make a statement at any occasion,” he said. “We’ve already had great success with his ties and pocket squares. And Rogue is a great contemporary men’s line with a rock star twist.”
Allen has both a top and bottom pick.
“The Bugatchi line of sport shirts, because their fabrics are all magnificently woven in Italy with unique styling details; and the warm, flannel lined Bills Khaki trouser, which we’re expecting a lot of guys will appreciate this winter.”
And Ryan says the French terry Shep Shirt from Vineyard Vines fits the bill.
“Those are the most comfortable casual sweatshirts you can buy,” he said.
BE COOL IN THE COLD
Layering and stylish details set the fashionable man apart from the crowd.
“Layering always looks sharp,” said Pagel. “And a good leather outer coat is a great choice, as it both blocks the wind and looks stylish.”
Cisneros seconds that. “Layers are the best way to stay warm,” he said. “A button-up, a knit sweater, and a … melton [felted wool] coat with your favorite winter boot and a beanie, and you’re ready to go.”
Standing out no matter how cold it gets is all in the little things, Ryan said.
Just take the time to add that one special item to your look: a blazer with your jeans, or a pocket square for your suit,” he said.
The finishing touch to creating a fresh fall look? Finding a common element that works, like cut or color, and riffing off of that one detail.
“Most of our clientele have developed their own sense of style,” Allen said. “So our mission is to supply them with fresh, updated, quality clothing.”